It would only be the end of a bad movie if there were no dead. But there are, many of them civilians, and this is why the survivors have said goodbye to American soldiers in Syria by bombarding their armored vehicles with rotten vegetables. Over the past weekend, Washington's troops have carried out one of the largest withdrawal maneuvers known in the region, but their fate remains uncertain: the president's thugs do not help clear up doubts.
Just five years ago, Uncle Sam's forces were met with cheers in northern Syria. The aviation of the international coalition that they captained was the key that allowed the Kurdish militias to contain the siege that the self-styled Islamic State inflicted on Kobane. That defeat of the extremists was the starting point of military cooperation on the ground, shoulder to shoulder, which ended up snatching its stronghold in Raqqa from the IS and, earlier this year, defeated its pseudo-caliphate in Syria.
From those hugs to these rotten tomatoes. In a video that has transpired on Monday, a group of Syrian kids throws outbrupts, stones and even rotten tomatoes at retired American soldiers, as they pass through the town of Qamishlo. In another video, disseminated by local media, other young people can be seen, in this case in the Kurdish capital of Erbil, launching it with stones with armored vehicles flying the stars and stripes flag.
Although not all reactions have been so furious. "Thanks to the people of the US, but Trump betrayed us , " it can be read in some of the banners that a group of neighbors showed at the passage of one of the American convoys, according to a video released by the spokesman for the Kurdish militias. "Don't kill us through Turkish hands," says another of the posters, also in English, that Kurds from Syria showed to American soldiers.
There is no response from the US soldiers . In a transcended photograph you can see how a US military sports the YPG / J shield, the Kurdish branch of the PKK guerrilla and the reason for the Turkish invasion. Some journalists in contact with the soldiers have noticed the frustration of some of their withdrawal, particularly of those who established close relations with Kurdish fighters. A reaction similar to the one experienced in Washington these days.
These adverse reactions, the majority contrary to Donald Trump's decision to retract all his forces in Syria, seem to be the reason for the quagmire in which the White House is located. And hence the recent chain of decisions in both directions, high-pitched tweets and contradictory calls that culminated in the explosive letter, leaked to the media, in which Trump snapped his counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan "don't be tough! don't be silly! ", and invited him to negotiate for Syria.
If last December Trump ordered the total withdrawal of his 2,000 soldiers stationed in Syria, shortly after he backed down, to end up ordering that only one thousand of his troops remain in the country. In an unexpected turn, on October 9, the leader ordered the withdrawal of soldiers stationed on the border with Turkey, which gave the green light to a Turkish offensive, supported by Syrian militias, which has triggered a maelstrom with dozens of civilians dead and tens of thousands displaced.
During the last days, US troops have consummated their withdrawal from the west of the Syrian strip controlled by their allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDS), where Kurdish militias are integrated. Soldiers of the Syrian army and members of the Russian military police have begun to fill the gap left by the US in places like Manbiy and Kobane. And although Trump has not stopped insisting that his soldiers return to "home," a last-minute turn can, again, change everything.
As published by the New York Times on Monday, now the US president is considering leaving at least 200 military special forces in Syria . The goal is to keep the oil and gas wells located in eastern Syria under control and curb the advance of Russia and the Syrian Government - to whom, contradictorily, Washington opened the door by abandoning the Kurds, forcing them to agree on an alliance with Damascus and its prop. Another reason would be to clear the criticism received in recent days.
Although they are a vital resource for national finances, Syria's energy reserves are not notable, compared to other countries in the neighborhood. However, throughout the conflict, dividends obtained from the extraction of gas and oil have served to fill the coffers of all the forces that have occupied them. Various investigations have shown that the hydrocarbons business has not even understood fronts and rivalries.
That Trump, at the very least, is seriously considering this option follows from one of his recent tweets. "We have secured the oil," congratulated the tenant of the White House. If this small contingent stays in Syria, what will happen to the rest of the withdrawn troops? The Department of Defense has told the media that the soldiers will remain in US bases located in western Iraq, from where they will eventually be able to penetrate Syrian soil to combat the remnants of the IS.
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